26.5m Nigerians ‘ll be food insecure in 2024 – Nutritionists

May 30, 2024

The Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria and the Nutrition Society of Nigeria have called on President Bola Tinubu to site nutrition departments in relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies across the nation, noting that 26.5 million Nigerians have been projected to be food insecure in 2024.

They listed Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe as states to be worst hit.

They made the call on Tuesday at a media roundtable on the establishment of nutrition departments and their impact on nutrition coordination, funding, and policy implementation in Abuja.

According to the nutritionists, food insecurity and malnutrition remain the major concerns in Nigeria currently.

They said malnutrition is a multifaceted problem that requires the involvement of all government sectors.

The National Coordinator of the Academic and Research Network for Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria, Professor Kola Anigo, in his presentation, said there was a need to sustain the effective coordination mechanism put in place to ensure a transparent system to unlock funding, timely release of government allocated funding and utilisation.

He further stated that there was a need to cultivate an enabling environment that would help maintain the current political will to ensure nutrition security.

Some of the ministries that he said needed Departments of Nutrition were; the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, and the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

Speaking also, a Nutrition Consultant, Dr Davis Omotola, argued that it was not enough to create departments of Nutrition, adding, “We need to demonstrate that we as a country care for the people. How many of our women are counselled on Nutrition? Why are they not counselled on Nutrition? Is it because of the paucity of funds?

“How many of the children that require vitamin A receive it? Why are they not receiving it? We have enough capsules in the country, why are they not receiving it,” he asked.

Omotola added that the nutrition department was a vehicle to get the government to increase funding for nutrition in the country.
He, therefore, noted that those who refused to create nutrition departments did not have an understanding of its benefits and called for consistent education.


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